Sticking It To Big Pharma With Crowdfunded Nanotech

Laura Hood | The Conversation | July 16, 2013

Students at the University of York are challenging what they see as the closed worlds of nanotechnology and healthcare by crowdsourcing funds to produce a new type of treatment for cancer using magnetic nanoparticles.

Atif Syed and Zakareya Hussein, students in the department of electronics and nanotechnology engineering, are using US-based funding site Microryza to find $3,000 to develop a pharmaceutical patch that delivers tiny nanoparticles into the body via hair follicles.

The plan is then to use an external magnetic field such as an MRI scanner to direct the nanoparticles towards cancerous cells. The nanoparticles would be warmed up to a temperature that destroys the cancerous cells before being naturally expelled from the body.

A second use for the proposed nanject patch is as an alternative to traditional injections for delivering medicines into the bloodstream without the use of a needle.